A profound spiritual experience seems necessary for one to engage the pathway of truth. Yeshua described it as being born again, which is certainly a profound personal spiritual experience. It happened to Zacchaeus when Yeshua called him out and offered to eat at his house. Having the Son of God accept you, particularly when society has rejected you, is a profound personal spiritual experience. Cornelius experienced it via an angelic visitation that brought about the sharing of the good news of Yeshua, by Peter. Nathanael and all the apostles had profound personal spiritual encounters with Yeshua, but we don’t have anything recorded about Judas having any sort of profound encounter with Yeshua. He was a friend, but did he even believe that Yeshua was the Messiah. His judgment of the woman who anointed Yeshua’s feet with expensive oil, was overruled by Yeshua, whereas the woman clearly had a profound personal spiritual experience drying His feet with her hair, and hearing Him say she had done a noble thing.
The thing about Yeshua is that He never died and lives today. The Holy Spirit is one with Yeshua and Father God, and He is the Person with whom people today have a profound personal spiritual experience. Much happens thereafter, for example, affirmation of Truth, truth of God’s word – the Bible; release from worldly bondage, baptism – becoming a new person; joining with the family of God on earth – the Church, and more. Maturing in one’s faith by perseverance in difficulty, testing of our faith, and persecution in this fallen world are means by which we grow in likeness to Yeshua, who also endured these things and in greater magnitude.
I have heard different terms for this new spiritual birth, one very worldly psychologist used the phrase, “a significant emotional event”, which he observed in the life of true christians; that served as an explanation for the life changing transformation he could not deny nor explain. Because he was an unbeliever he had no concept of the spiritual life and therefore substituted emotional for spiritual. “But these people blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like unreasoning animals, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like animals they too will perish.” (2 Peter 2:12).
This is no attempt to lay out a new theology or requirement, but simply observing what happened in scripture and what has been a common experience with other believers. We have Calvin’s Institutes and many other books and professionals who speak of requirements. I’m calling you to reflect back on your profound personal spiritual experience, to contemplate how far your pilgrimage with Yeshua has come. Recall His loving-kindness; the difficulties through which He delivered you; the discipline that taught you the way of humility; the times of refreshing beholding the beauty of the Lord, and to praise the Lord.